We have all seen these things. Walk through any discount store at this time of the year and you will find a “Prelit Fiber Optic Christmas Tree”.
These trees started out being small and now are as big as a grown adult man or more. Usually they are about as appealing visually as a bottle brush. The needles look fake, the fiber optics are very obvious, you can see the support wires for the limbs.
In short they look the Personification of Tacky in a box.
Everything is perspective though, and I think I have found where that ugly little pile of plastic has a perfect use. Outdoors.
From a distance, that little tree sparkles and shimmers. It looks like a million lights are coming to life to greet you and dance for your pleasure alone. This particular tree has a color wheel into which the tree is jammed. The color wheel goes through the rainbow very quickly so instead of it being all blue, then with a swipe changing to red for example, it shimmers in psychedelic brilliance.
The picture above is that particular tree, and no I didn’t catch it at a point where the color wheel was broken. The other morning while I was standing outside taking night photos, I grabbed this one. My camera is an interesting little thing, it has a Night Photography setting. I had the camera strapped to a tripod, and while standing in the middle of the street in front of the house, I took this and yesterday’s picture.
The Night Photography Setting on my camera gives me a 15 second exposure. Good luck keeping your hand still for that. As the tree danced through the rainbow what you ended up with was all of the colors that shone through the fibres. In this case, the light was the yellowish light of the incandescent bulb underneath the tree.
It blinded me with Science, or at least the photographic arts.